Services

Top Topics

Connections

Please join us on these social networks:

Day1 Store

Books, CDs, Videos & more

Visit The Store

The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

Buy Now

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel is senior pastor of First Congregational UCC in Dubuque, IA. She is a speaker and author of several books including "'Spiritual But Not Religious' Is Not Enough."

Member of:

United Church of Christ


Lillian Daniel: Did Jesus Ignore Her?

September 27, 2014

A Canaanite woman came down from the hills and pleaded, "Mercy, Master...My daughter is cruelly afflicted by an evil spirit." Jesus ignored her. The disciples came and complained, "Now she's bothering us. Would you please take care of her? She's driving us crazy." - Matthew 15:21-23 

Jesus ignored her? This is a story in which nobody wants to pay attention to a suffering woman, even Jesus. 

Spoiler alert: The next few sentences of the story reveal that Jesus ends up helping her, but that's because she just won't shut up. There's no question that Jesus starts out ignoring her. Why? 

This could be a story about Jesus' divinity. Somehow, with the eyes of God, he had a purpose in ignoring her. Perhaps he knew that next, she would pester the disciples, and that then they would complain about her. Then Jesus would be able to point out the disciples' lack of compassion, he'd heal the woman himself, and they would all go on to learn some important lesson. 

Or maybe the answer is simpler. This could be a story about Jesus' humanity. He ignored the woman because he was tired, fed up, annoyed, hungry or simply in a bad mood. The disciples complained about her because they were just as human. The woman stuck to it and demanded help because she was human too. 

The healing that took place was divine. But Jesus' initial lack of attention to someone in pain seems pretty human. Even Jesus got cranky. 

Here's the miracle. Healing triumphed. God paid attention. And in that moment, the God part of Jesus did too. He stopped ignoring her and paid attention. Even Jesus gets to grow and change. 

Prayer 
Dear God, help me to pay divine attention to people as you pay divine attention to me. Amen.

 

From UCC's StillSpeaking Devotional. Visit UCC.org


Printer print
Comment comments

Topic Tags

No current tags